| Wani Roslan |
THE Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday celebrated World Cancer Day 2015 by launching the first National Prostate Health Awareness Campaign which was held at Dewan Al-‘Afiah of the ministry.
The guest of honour who officiated the ceremony was Awang Haji Mahrub bin Haji Murni, Senior Special Duties Officer of MoH, in his capacity as a personal representative of Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Haji Mohd Yusof, the Minister of Health.
The theme for World Cancer Day 2015 is ‘Cancer – Not Beyond Us’. The theme emphasises on taking positive steps and being proactive against cancer problems by finding solutions for the entire continuum of cancer and they are not beyond our reach.
“The World Cancer Day is an ideal opportunity to raise awareness on things that can be done to further develop the global cancer movement and all of these are within our reach, particularly preventive aspects such as choosing a healthy lifestyle, control and early detection of cancer and its treatment. All of these are to maximise the quality of our lives,” said Associate Professor Dr Haji Muhd Syafiq bin Abdullah, Co-Chairman of the ceremony in his welcoming remarks.
A briefing on ‘Symptoms of Prostate Disease’ and ‘Prostate Cancer’ was delivered by Hajah Zuraini binti Haji Ibrahim, urological surgeon and Chua Hock Beng, General Surgeon and Head of Urology at RIPAS Hospital, at yesterday’s launching ceremony.
Among the objectives of the prostate campaign are to raise awareness among men aged 50 and above on urinary problems caused by prostate gland enlargement and at the same time, to raise awareness among the public on prostate cancer, symptoms and existing treatments in Brunei Darussalam and outside the country.
The Minister of Health, in his speech delivered by his personal representative, Awang Haji Mahrub, said Brunei Darussalam is concerned about cancer which is the leading cause of death for more than five years in a row.
According to the MoH’s statistics, a total of 214 deaths were recorded caused by cancer in 2009 and the number continued to increase up to 295 deaths in 2013.
Statistics provided by the Brunei Darussalam Cancer Registry from 2002 to 2013 show that there are five main types of cancers faced by the population in the country. There were 605 cases of breast cancer, 559 cases of colon cancer, 554 cases of lung cancer, 297 cases of cervical cancer and 204 cases of stomach cancer.
The leading type of cancer affecting the male population is lung cancer with 341 cases. A total of 314 cases were reported for colorectal cancer, 189 cases for prostate cancer and 122 cases for stomach cancer.
According to the Cancer Registry of RIPAS Hospital, the total number of prostate cancer cases in Brunei Darussalam is between 21 to 46 in a year and is ranked number 11 in the list of types of cancer.
“According to the Urology Unit of RIPAS Hospital, a majority of patients who suffer from prostate cancer are already in stage 3 or stage 4, meaning the cancer has spread to other organs – final stage.
“It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health to take action similar to the other countries by bringing awareness among the male population especially for those aged 50 years and above,” said Awang Haji Mahrub.
“Taking into account the increasing number of cancer cases in the country, particularly cancer among the male population, all stakeholders must be jointly responsible and play their respective roles in an effort to curb the number of cancer cases in this country,” he said.
“We should not solely rely on the government and we must work together and share the responsibility by playing our respective roles to prevent and control cancer that brings harm and burden not only to the patients, but also to the family, society and country,” he added.
He also emphasised that preventive measures are very cost-effective in the long term strategy in controlling cancer and it should be known that early detection and treatment of cancer can reduce the burden of cancer by 33 per cent.
“Early detection can improve the effectiveness of the treatment provided, especially if the cancer has not spread to the second, third or fourth stage,” he continued, “The efforts on early detection include education on early symptoms and immediately seeing a doctor as well as undergoing health screening programmes,” he said.